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Zardari’s plan baffles rivals, analysts

LAHORE: Political rivals and analysts do not see that by becoming members of the National Assembly Asif Ali Zardari and son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari may gain something significant for their party or create troubles for the government.

The arch rival Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) fails to comprehend for what purpose the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairperson and co-chairperson have taken the decision.

Terming Mr Zardari’s announcement contrary to expectations of political observers in general and PPP activists in particular, senior PTI leader and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is not sure what objectives will be achieved through this step.

“…One may understand the need for party chairperson Bilawal’s presence in the House to get a taste of the parliamentary politics but what an ex-head of state (Asif Zardari) will get by becoming an MNA is unfathomable.”

As opposition leader, Mr Qureshi says, Bilawal may not gain more than a direct role in forming the next caretaker setup and thus one-on-one meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Referring to threats of a long march Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has been hurling at the government if it does not accept his four demands, the PTI leader says the Dec 27 deadline set for the purpose has passed but no announcement regarding the promised long march has been made.

“It has disappointed the PPP jiyalas who have been enthusiastically waiting for an announcement for a protest movement.”

Political analyst Dr Hasan Askari believes the announcement depicts the PPP’s strategy that it doesn’t want a direct clash with the PML-N government. What it plans is to continue pressure on the government while keeping the option of talks (with the government) open.

He doesn’t see that the presence of father and son in the parliament will create any problem for the ruling party except if they decide to go along with other opposition parties on any issue.

“Presently, the Panama Leaks case in the Supreme Court and the PTI’s agitational mode are major problems for the PML-N and not the PPP or its moves.”

About Mr Zardari’s plans of paying attention to Punjab politics, Dr Askari says the PML-N is well-entrenched in Punjab and no single opposition party can dislodge it from this position at least in the near future.

He sees no immediate chances of collaboration between two major opposition parties, the PPP and PTI.

“The gigantic task will require assembling of all the opposition parties on a single platform but accepting leadership of the PTI is psychologically unacceptable for the PPP while the opposition leader (in the public perception) is Imran Khan.”

Endorsing Dr Askari’s views, PML-N media coordinator Muhammad Mehdi says the PPP duo won’t give a tough time to the government in the parliament or work to shorten life of the House.

“How can Mr Zardari and Bilawal go against the institution they want to join? Had they any plans to seek snap polls, they won’t have opted for the by-polls,” he argues.Dr Safdar Abbasi, chief of his own faction of the PPP, asserts that Mr Zardari’s announcement negated expectations of the PPP activists about an anti-government movement.

Not believing that Bilawal had real plans for the long march, he alleges that both Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif have an understanding that the former will not focus on Punjab while the latter will stay away from Sindh .

Mr Zardari’s speech, he says, is in fact aimed at positioning of the party for the next elections.

He says the former president’s entry into active politics at this juncture will scuttle chances of Bilawal getting political maturity through seemingly independent moves the young PPP leader has been making for the last some months.

courtesy : dawn news

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